Category Archives - Safe Cities in Mexico

Puerto Peñasco is a fast transforming fishing village in the desert state of Sonora, connecting the Baja California Peninsula and the rest of Mexico, about 62 miles south of the border of Arizona. Because of the lack of water there was no permanent residents here until a rail line was built in the 1930s. Since then it has bloomed into a popular beach, and fishing, locale for people from California, Arizona and Nevada, who call it Rocky Point.

Another one of its many nicknames is “Arizona’s Beach” because of the proximity of Tucson, Phoenix and Yuma. To promote tourism, Puerto Peñasco was declared part of the border “free zone,” meaning Americans can drive there without obtaining a visa. It has become a major tourist center in a short amount of time, with numerous hotels and camping/RV sites. An abundance of beautiful beaches, paired with an impressive display of marine life has prompted beachside homes, plans for condominiums, malls, marinas and golf courses.  The Mayan Palace resort has just added an entire new upper level units called the  Grand Mayan Puerto Penasco ,  Both are east of town about 20 minutes. 

Border Problems

While a convenient trek just across the border, caution should be used when undertaking this journey. The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for the state of Sonora, citing an uptick in assaults against Americans since 2012. Cartel activity, carjacking and highway robbery are the situations to be aware of. However, since this safety warning was announced, the Mexican government has provided more funding and police officers to these areas.

However, travelers should follow safety tips from the State Department to avoid any such circumstances. Some of the major advice is to use the Sonoyta border crossing at Lukesville, Ariz. to spend the shortest time on the road in Mexico en route to Puerto Peñasco, and driving only when the sun is up. While in the city, be a low key traveler, not flaunting wealth and just be aware of your surroundings; catch cabs only from designated taxi stands.

The Most Important Tip

In the end, the most important safety tip is to stay away from illegal activities yourself, or from people who are participating in those things. Unfortunately, bad things can happen anywhere, but using common sense and some specific safety tips should ensure a pleasant vacation and get you home safely. Keep these mind when traveling as well:

  • Stay on major thoroughfares where most other tourists travel
  • Never walk alone, especially at night, and be vigilant about using ATMs
  • Don’t wear jewelry or carry flashy handbags that might make you a target for pickpockets
  • When visiting bars and nightclubs, keep an eye on your drink
  • Don’t drink alcohol excessively
  • Wear your seatbelt (even though most locals don’t)

Christmas in Mexico City

Having lived in Mexico City for 10 years, I can say that the Holiday Season was some of the memorable days there and some of the best moments of my life; especially Christmas time. December is an important month in Mexico for a number of reasons. First, the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is

Traveling Through Mexico: Some Cinco de Mayo Tips

Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo may be a well known holiday in the U.S., but contrary to belief, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, (which is actually on September 16). Cinco de Mayo, or Fifth of May, actually commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III, on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Celebrating

Spring Break 2015: Traveling to Mexico

Mexico is a popular travel spot where people from all over the world come to see for themselves the beauty of this country, especially during Spring Break. As with all countries, there is always the threat of violence and Mexico is no different. It has come under some heavy fire over the years due to

Street Smarts Trump Danger: Visiting Mexico

When I was a little kid, one of the most pressing rules I remember was to look both ways before crossing the street. (I still use that one :p). This lesson in street smarts was sort of a preparatory intro to how to function in the world. It took some kids longer than others, but

Is Playa del Carmen Safe?

Playa del Carmen is a town in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico, about 45 minutes south of the Cancun airport. It is located in the state Quintana Roo, which is in the Eastern part of Mexico.
Playa del Carmen started out as a fishing village more than 100 years ago. Its laid-back feel,

Which is Safer: Cancun or Orlando?

This video and CNN article published 2013 by CNN, highlights the safety of tourist areas in Mexico.  The video raises an amazing point that Orlando , home of Disney world has a higher murder rate than Cancun.   This news is needed  to balance reports of a  growing tendency for violence in Mexico, which includes

It Is Exotic, But Is It Safe to Travel to Cabo San Lucas ?

"Playa Santa Maria beach-Cabo San Lucas"

 
Commonly called “Cabo,” Cabo San Lucas is located in the south of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula in the state of Baja California Sur. It is rated one of the top five tourist destinations in Mexico for its beaches, beautiful resorts and water sports. Cabo is also known as a party town because of its many

Is San Jose del Cabo Safe?

San Jose del Cabo is located just east of Cabo San Lucas in the south of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Cabo San Lucas is a well-known vacation destination in Mexico that is connected to San Jose del Cabo by a long hotel corridor where most tourists stay in the area.
Whereas Cabo San Lucas is a

Is Mazatlan Safe?

Mazatlan is part of the Sinaloa state of Mexico, located in the country’s northwestern region. The city is known for its beaches, Historic Center and shopping in the Gold Zone.
One of the most high-profile criminal groups in Mexico is based in Sinaloa. As a result, violent crime rates are high in the state.